It should come as no surprise that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has only a tenuous connection to reality, though her willingness to expose it might be.
In the recent Ricci decision, the good Justice decided to read her dissent from the bench -- and in what night be read as an expression of sisterhood, made use of the word "empathy" in describing what see felt was the proper course of action.
The situation? Seems the fire department of New Haven, CT had a test for promotion; and when no African-American firefighters passed the test, instead of the city making more of an effort to attract more-qualified Black firefighters, they panicked and threw the test out. Caucasian and Hispanic firefighters sued, alleging discrimination (and note the majority opinion of the High Court was they were right). No word, I guess, from Asian or Pacific Islander firefighters.
The dissenting -- liberal -- Justices aver, "in effect, that having so few black firefighters in command positions provides a reason for the city to at least consider throwing out the test and then designing a new one that will accommodate the education level, lower income, and particular work experience of African-Americans. And candidates for a promotion don't need to be the best; they need simply have qualifications that are only 'necessary to successful performance of the job in question.'"
This is the cold, dead hand of Woodrow Wilson's Democratic Party, reaching out with the soft bigotry of low expectations. telling us, "that's all they're capable of, poor creatures." Bullshit! Pure, unadulterated, triple-strength bilge and hokum! It's 2009 and just about the only groups that have to be reminded of the countervailing examples all around 'em are unregenerate racists and liberals -- but I repeat myself.
And BS again over the invidious idea that "candidates for a promotion don't need to be the best; they need simply have qualifications that are only 'necessary to successful performance of the job in question.'" So if Justice Ginsburg's house is burning down, she's okay with firefighters led by the barely adequate instead of by the best? Fine for you, Judge, but I'd rather have the starters than the benchwarmers, myself.
New Haven, the majority on the bench was right and Justice Ginsberg and her three buddies are clueless; put the test back in and if you've got some demographic goal, put your attentions to the input end of the process. There are plenty of firefighters out there with a real knack for the job and it's not linked to their complexion.
...But what still has my blood boiling is this burning desire to define tests down to achieve "balance." It shows up in public safety jobs and the military these days but public safety is the most damaged by it -- there are often different physical requirements for the boys and the girls, yet once they qualify, they do the same job. This is the worst sort of foolishness; if a fireman's got to be able to carry X weight for Y distance under Z conditions, then a firewoman had better be able to do so, too, or she's gonna have to leave someone to die that her brothers would've been able to save. Unfair? --It may have the effect of setting the bar higher for women than for men but it does not make it impossible, and it could be your loved ones or even you, left to burn by someone who only got in because the bar was lowered.
Some jobs take strength or stamina; some take great powers of concetration and fine motor control. Some -- Supreme Court Justice, perhaps? -- merely take good sitting-down muscles at both ends. And many jobs require some basic abilities that if you, personally, lack 'em, you had not ought to be doing that job. Not even if Justice Ginsburg thinks it would be "fair."